High Holiday Services 2023
We look forward to in-person High Holiday services once again in 2023. More details coming this summer.
Questions? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Ohel Ayalah, it is possible for a Jew to wake up on Rosh Hashanah morning and say, “I feel like going to the synagogue today and being with other Jews.”
The free, walk-in service, for 20s & 30s, means that a Jew can join a celebration of the High Holidays without having to decide in advance.
2023 Passover Seders
Our seders combine traditional texts with stimulating activities, contemporary musings, and plenty of seder songs. We will read (sometimes in Hebrew and sometimes in English), sing, discuss, and debate. And also shmooze. Dinner will be served buffet style.
This year, we are running one on-side seder on the first night of Passover, Wednesday night April 5th. All are welcome (and it will be customized for people in their 20s and 30s). In addition, Rabbi Steigmann will be leading an online second-night seder that all are welcome to attend.
What People Are Saying
First I’d like to say what an absolute pleasure it was to be at the late Kol Nidre service. I really don’t have a single thing that I would change about it . It was everything I hope to experience in a Yom Kippur service, reflection, community, learning, a deeply spiritual environment, and even those unexpected moments of what feels like pure joy and celebration in the midst of deep atonement. I would also like to say the way the prayers were sung was also at times completely piercing, sometimes joyus, sometimes somber, but always absolutely beautiful. Your drash was absolutely the perfect thing I needed to hear to kick of my Yom Kippur, and I especially loved the community involvement aspect of your teachings, where you had us talk to each other and vocalize how specifically we hoped to make a positive change in the world over the next year, and how we would work towards it.
Thank you for providing such meaningful, warm, educational High Holy Day services. I appreciate Rabbi Hauptman’s deep Talmudic knowledge and the many ways in which she shares it with her congregation. Her rigorous preparation, her care, and her humor make the services a singular Jewish experience.
I’m in my early 20s, and recently moved to New York City. I didn’t have a place to attend Rosh Hashana services. On the first morning of Rosh Hashana I was turned away at another local synagogue, and I felt extremely lucky to find Ohel Ayalah. You guys welcomed me in, and without Ohel Ayalah, I would have returned home and been unable to celebrate Rosh Hashana with other Jews. It was really special to be able to find a service that would take me in. Thank you.
My sister and I have enjoyed your services for many years in the past and really appreciate all that you and your leadership team does to hold such beautiful, meaningful and inspiring services for the young community.
I was really glad to learn about the services last minute, and very much enjoyed your approach and delivery. Thank you for making it possible and for creating a welcoming community for those who may not have a place to go and worship.
The no obligations, relaxed nature of the services that Ohel Ayalah puts on help to encourage me to attend as much as possible Ð no matter if I have not planned ahead months in advance.
I just wanted to send a thank-you to all who made possible the free services you offer. This was my first year attending your High Holiday services and I actually enjoyed myself!
Your boundless energy seemed to get everyone inspired, and it was refreshing to observe the holiday at a place that as open and welcoming to all. My girlfriend is not Jewish, but she was moved by the service and was able to relate to it.
I am so grateful to have found services geared toward people like me, who otherwise, would have no place to go for the holidays.
I think you provide a wonderful, generous, educational and spiritual service and fill a great void for those of us unaffiliated Jews in the five boroughs.
I thought that the service was excellent. I was thrilled when my cousin informed me about the “affordable” (FREE!) services offered by Ohel Ayalah. What a mitzvah! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
This is truly the most unique and welcoming venue for services I have ever encountered (I’ve been to many shuls across the spectrum of observance) in many countries.
Thank you so much for having these services for unaffiliated Jews. I attended both the Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre services and found them very welcoming, meaningful, and energetic.
Without Ohel Ayalah I would have no place to go! The warmth of the congregation made me feel like I was back at home with my family. Thank you!
I cannot thank you enough for making those services available for people with nowhere else to go, it was a big relief to me knowing that I could still observe the holiday without having to spend a fortune to do it. It was nice to be in a community of my peers. I didn’t have a reservation, but arrived early and had no problem getting a seat.
I worried about finding a place to worship. Moreover, I worried about finding a venue that was free, both financially and idealistically. In Ohel Ayalah, I found both. Not only that, I found a warm, involving congregation, composed of people from all over the City, who wanted the same thing! Thank you so much for making this possible, for allowing me and everyone to take part in this wonderful celebration of faith!
I can’t thank you enough for providing an opportunity for me to go to services this year! I just graduated from law school, and I had nowhere to go that wasn’t going to charge me a lot of money. For the first time, I felt welcomed into worship. May the tent of Helen always welcome the wandering young Jews of the world!
It was an honor to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with you. There is a very intimate feeling with the group. I love the sense of community. It is very refreshing to have a rabbi ask questions to think about during a High Holiday Service. I enjoyed the service very much. And then to have a Kiddush like the one that was offered was the cherry on top.
I brought a friend this year, who, like me, does not belong to a synagogue. His comment after Kol Nidre services was- “Nobody in the congregation really knows each other, yet I have never felt so connected.” I agree.
Please keep it up! Modern, egalitarian services with a strong connection to the traditional texts are very hard to find.
The service was very meaningful and helped me out in a difficult situation. If I had known about OA before, I would have attended many previous services.
In this day and age, young Jews like myself struggle a lot with issues of community and identity. Since we move around so much, from city to city, changing jobs, it’s very difficult to feel welcomed as a part of a Jewish community. Ohel Ayalah was the first organization I’ve run across to welcome people like me to come and worship on their own terms. I can’t think of a service that’s more welcome, or more desperately needed today.
I just wanted to thank you for providing such informative, accessible, and inclusive services each year. My fiance and I are an interfaith couple (Jewish & Hindu) and Ohel Ayalah has helped make the Jewish traditions and holidays that I hold so dear more accessible to my fiance by providing clear explanations in a captivating and inclusive way. He never feels left out or not welcome, and it has helped make these holidays a part of our life together (and not just mine alone). Thank you!!
The hour given to study group was also a wonderful idea. It was like going back to Hebrew school as an adult, and contributed to the communal feeling among participants in services. That was really great, and added to the immersion in Jewish culture that was part of the services. Thank you again!
My wife and I have been going for 3 years, ever since we moved to Brooklyn. We have yet to be disappointed by an Ohel Ayalah service. It is inclusive and warm. Quite frankly, they’re the best High Holiday services I’ve been to, regardless of it being free.
I’ve spent much of my life struggling to find Jewish communities where I “fit in.” As a late-20’s adult, to be observant, I don’t need fees to pay at synagogues. I just need a place to go on holidays, where I can pray and observe, simply, along with other like-minded people. These services have been an invaluable part of my Jewish experience as a young adult.
To offer a feeling of community, which Ohel Ayalah has done, in addition to free high holiday services feels too good to be true. In my experience in Brooklyn last year, and Manhattan this year, I felt a real sense of people wanting to form community. I so appreciate the ability to carry on the traditions I grew up with through these services.
I would not have gone to any services if I had not heard about Ohel Ayalah from my friend who lives in Brooklyn. We both felt we wanted to attend a service but didn’t think we could because of not having an affiliation. We both enjoyed it more than expected (and remembered from our younger days).
Thank you for a great opportunity to enjoy the New Year in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere!
I’m so grateful to have High Holiday services at Ohel Ayalah each year. I plan to join a synagogue one day when I have a family, but for now it’s just really important for me to make that connection and attend services during the high holidays. Thank you for making this possible!
Thank you. The services make me happy and proud to be a Jewish New Yorker.
Being a Russian Jew, it is very difficult for me to really understand and relate to services, I have always felt like an outsider. Ohel Ayalah has allowed me to have a meaningful experience during the holidays and to really feel part of the greater Jewish community, it has given me a sense of belonging, which is an amazing gift.
Ohel Ayalah has been a welcoming experience, and I think the Rabbi’s motto that you shouldn’t have to pay to pray really rings true for young people in Manhattan who have not or cannot afford yet to join a temple. The services are relaxed and pleasant, and we thank you for hosting us for the past three years.
Thank you! I really loved this service, and I don’t know if I’ve ever said that about any High Holiday service. It really did feel like a community: one that didn’t pressure me about money or observance, and one that offered the chance to think about the meaning of the day and the prayers in a friendly, nonjudgmental environment.
Thank you for the most meaningful Kol Nidre services I have ever attended. As a (relatively) unaffiliated young Jew who nonetheless has a strong interest in celebrating major holidays, I have ‘sampled’ synagogues throughout New York City and not had a comparable experience to what OA is able to provide.
I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful service. There are so many young Jews, like myself, who simply don’t have a synagogue to go to. This couldn’t have been more perfect. I recently graduated from law school, and I had nowhere else to go. Thank you for being there for me when nobody else was!
I really valued this experience. Without Ohel Ayalah, I probably wouldn’t have had a Kol Nidre service to attend. Having recently moved to New York, and without having Jewish family or friends nearby, it is difficult to find a service where I would feel comfortable. The service and the congregants were warm, intellectual, and spiritual.
These were the most alive and energetic Jewish services I have ever experienced. The rabbi is so communicative and inclusive, and leads a compelling service that we all talked about afterwards! The cantors were energetic and alive, and sang with fervor. I spoke to one other person who had also been there for the first time, and we both just loved it.
My boyfriend and I just moved to NY from Florida, and we were having trouble finding affordable holiday services (for a student and an unemployed graduate). Not only was this an enriching and wonderful service, but we learned of other Jewish opportunities geared toward our age and wallet.
Ohel Ayalah High Holiday services are among the only religious Jewish services that I’ve attended and actually liked. Anyone who feels spiritual and wants to pray is welcomed equally. It doesn’t matter what your background is or how you observe at home. If you want to be a part of it, you can.
THANK YOU!!! I think these services are great less because they’re free and more because they’re fabulous.
Ohel Ayalah gave me a place to daven for Yom Kippur. In a city that I am unfamiliar with, they made me feel at home for a night.
Thank you for making an affordable Seder for those who don’t have a place to go for the holidays.
I love the participatory nature, and the warm community feeling Rabbi Hauptman instills within the room. This is why I will keep coming back, year after year!
Ohel Ayalah provides me with a spiritual learning experience, that instead of dreading, I always look forward to.
I attended the Seder alone and felt completely comfortable in at my table. It was a wonderful mix of personalities and perspectives.
I loved the fact that it was all young people who wanted to celebrate the holiday together.
Everyone was very friendly, and engaged in the discussion. We all came from interesting diverse backgrounds. I hope to keep in touch with a couple that I met when we rotated to our second Seder table of the night.
For someone who has a strained relationship with family, instead of dreading the holidays, as in past years I often have, Ohel Ayalah provides me with a spiritual learning experience, that instead of dreading, I always look forward to.
The use of musical instruments at the Seder table are always a good icebreaker and help to promote a lively fun experience.